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Bank Takes Mortgage Foreclosure Action Against the Stalled but Substantially
 Complete Hampton Inn Project in Norwich, Connecticut

By Claire Bessette, The Day, New London, Conn.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News

July 24, 2010 --NORWICH -- A New York-based bank has filed a mortgage foreclosure action against the stalled Hampton Inn project at 154 Salem Turnpike that appeared near completion before work stopped several months ago.

The Bank of Smithtown filed against PRA at Norwich LLC on a $10.5 million mortgage dated July 31, 2007. The pending foreclosure was recorded Friday in the Norwich land records at the city clerk's office. The document also names several contractors as defendants. Numerous contractors have filed mechanics' liens against the project in the past several months for unpaid bills.

PRA at Norwich is a subsidiary of PRA Development and Management Corp. of Philadelphia, the same development firm that had proposed a $40 million, 20-story Hilton Hotel at Norwich Harbor, which also is stalled.

The Hampton Inn, located off Interstate 395 at Exit 80, is substantially completed. But Assistant Building Official Greg Arpin, who was handling inspections of the construction in progress, said workers haven't called for inspections in the past several months. He recalled visiting the site about six or eight months ago on a report that someone had been stealing copper, but the investigation pointed to a contractor working on the project, rather than anyone breaking into the building.

Peter Davis, director of planning and development for the city, said he too hasn't heard from PRA in several months. He was aware of financial difficulties at the project due to the economy.

PRA Vice President of Hospitality Vij Chandra, who had worked on the firm's harbor hotel proposal, could not be reached for comment Friday.

PRA obtained zoning permits in February 2008 for the Hilton Hotel at the Marina at American Wharf. The project would include a 20-story, 324-room luxury hotel with a convention center and an accompanying parking garage at the marina and the former Putts Up Dock miniature golf course at the corner of West Main Street and Chelsea Harbor Drive.

In fall of 2008, PRA officials presented plans to expand the project, but the project stalled soon afterward.


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